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bethany725

Visiting London Bookstores

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Hi guys :)

 

I'm planning a trip to London for a week, and plan to spend a day just visiting different bookstores around the city.

I've started doing some research and compiling a list... then it hit me that you guys would probably be a great resource. :)

If it helps to know, I'd like to visit both some chains and independents, and I read mostly fiction novels.  I'm also hoping to just visit some stores that maybe have a unique or special atmosphere, even if their book topics aren't things I buy all the time.

 

Some of the ones I'm eyeing so far are...

Daunt Books
Clerkenwell Tales
Waterstone's
Stoke Newington Book Shop
 

 

Any suggestions?

 

Thanks so much!

Beth

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I haven't had chance to visit any London bookshops for a while, but these are a couple on my list of ones to go to next time I get chance to visit London:

 

Foyles are opening a new flagship shop at 107 Charing Cross Road in early June, and the sneak peak photos they've been tweeting look amazing, so that would be close to the top of my list of bookshops to visit.

 

Persephone are my favourite small publishers, and they have their own shop at 59 Lamb’s Conduit Street.

 

I've also got a bookmarked link to a blog which someone posted a while back for a blog post on London bookshops which you might find useful: http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/node/1908003

 

Hope that's helpful!

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Foyles are opening a new flagship shop at 107 Charing Cross Road in early June, and the sneak peak photos they've been tweeting look amazing, so that would be close to the top of my list of bookshops to visit.

 

I'll second this.  It is a great book shop and their new one (a few doors down from the old one, which I will miss) should be even better.  They don't discount books, but if there is something you are after that you haven't been able to find elsewhere, chances are they will have it.

 

Also, I would suggest walking further down Charing Cross Road (towards Trafalgar Square) as there are a few second hand book shops on that road that are often worth a poke around.

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Just beware of getting them all back- I went sorta crazy and ended up with too many pounds in my luggage!  Sounds fun- have a great time!

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Yep, I recognise that problem :lol:  I could wander around (and around) in there for hours :D

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I like Forbidden Planet, but every time I've been there recently I've walked out empty-handed, knowing I can get anything they are selling a lot cheaper on the net.

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I find imported books are cheaper in FP than on the net  :shrug:

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I wish you lots of fun in London :)! There are some great book shops around.

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Regarding getting the books home. When we buy books out of town we always mail them home. Collect enough for a box and send by postage rate. I am not sure about rates over there, but here it is quite cheap to mail books.

 

Have a lot of fun, and buy many books! :D

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I love Forbidden Planet, Waterstones and Foyles for new books and Any Amount of Books and Skoob for second hand treasure hunting.

Last year we had to buy a huge suitcase to get all the books we bought home :o

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This is awesome - Thank you, guys! :)  I HOPE I have to buy an extra suitcase or mail my large volume of books I find. ;)

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I find imported books are cheaper in FP than on the net   :shrug:

 

To be honest I was thinking more of the merchandise, DVDs and spoken word CDs etc. they are very rarely discounted and when they are they are little better than Amazon's usual price. 

 

I don't tend to buy a lot of books in there because half the time I have no idea what I'm looking at!

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I'll second this.  It is a great book shop and their new one (a few doors down from the old one, which I will miss) should be even better.  They don't discount books, but if there is something you are after that you haven't been able to find elsewhere, chances are they will have it.

 

Also, I would suggest walking further down Charing Cross Road (towards Trafalgar Square) as there are a few second hand book shops on that road that are often worth a poke around.

 

I think Raven might be talking about Cecil Court. If you are walking down  Charing Cross Road towards Trafalgar square it is a side turning on your left. On the corner is a New York burger place where I had a tasty burger. There are many small shops in Cecil Court  with an olde worlde feel selling old second hand books, maps and prints.  They have bargain racks outside you can peruse. Much Victoriana . Some of it is overpriced, but not all . I got a book of Victorian theatre posters.  I met a most extraordinary cockney woman running one of the print shops, which she has taken over from her father  and has been in the family about a century.

Edited by vodkafan

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This is awesome... Thanks, James. :)  I will definitely visit Cecil Court!

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My trip IS soon!  I'm compiling my list today to start building out my routes, so I came back to this thread for reference. :)

I'll be leaving Friday, arriving Saturday. :)

 

I think the bookstores I'm going to hit up for sure are in the following areas... Anyone know which may be good to group together, just in terms of proximity?

 

Foyles - Charing Cross, SOHO

Secondhand stores off from Charing Cross, towards Trafalgar Square (Cecil Court)

Waterstones - Piccadilly

Lutyens & Rubenstein - Notting Hill

Daunt Books - Marylebone (seems like everyone suggestions this one as the best Daunt Books... is this accurate?)

Primrose Hill Books

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Wow some of them are far apart....they look like a little distance on the map but believe me I have walked it. It's easy to clock up 10-12 miles in a days walking. If you are OK with that, you will see lots of interesting stuff on foot (I mean apart from the bookshops). But if you want to stay fresh I suggest grabbing an Oyster card to get around on the tube.(Underground). It's much better than the old way of buying tickets. Just make sure you flash the oyster card at the end of the journey otherwise it carries on charging you and doesn't know you have got off! 

How long you going to be in London Bethany?

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The first three on your list are all in walking distance plus you have Forbidden Planet  at the top end of Shaftesbury Avenue (just about opposite Neal Street/Endell street)  very near the New Foyles, and if you walk down to Trafalgar Square past Cecil Court there is a huge Waterstones there too in The Grand Building. I don't know how this compares to the one in Picadilly though, I just mention it as it is on the same Charing Cross Road and you can do 3 birds in one without risking getting lost or too tired. But of course walking to Picadilly through Leicester Square will be fun in itself, lots to see and photograph.... personally, if I was including Picadilly then I would make that 3-4 places  one whole days exploration as it makes a right angle triangle around Leicester Square with lots of interest packed inside the triangle... 2 art galleries (with their own bookshops, don't forget!!)  

 

Primrose Hill Books is far out on the North side of Regent's Park , nearest tube is Chalk Farm ... Daunt Books in Marylebone is almost directly South of Primrose Hill on the South side of Regent's Park..it makes sense to do them together and perhaps walk across the park between..Regents Park is beautiful . That I would say would be another half day depending on how much browsing time...if you incuded Madame Taussuds  that would easy make it another whole day, without too much walking 

 

Lutyens & Rubenstein is far out west in W11.  That will definitely be a special trip. It is very near Portobello Road market, but I don't know what that is like. Kensington is nice it has lots of nice buildings .

 

Hope this helps.  I wouldn't advise you trying to do them all in one day.

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This is amazing, Vodkafan!  Thank you so, so much! 

I'm more than happy to both split them up over multiple days (I'll be there about 5 days), and also happy to walk quite a bit... NYC living prepared me for lots of walking, so I'm good to go there. ;)

I appreciate you grouping these together for me - gives me a lay of the land, and a plan about how to break things up over a few different outings. Excited to make it to as many of these as I can! :)

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Just wanted to update everyone that I made it to and from London safely! :)  The book shoppes were fabulous - I have to say that I think my favorite was the new(ish?) Waterstones near Piccadilly. I mean honestly... it was pretty much heaven. ;)  I brought back a whole extra bag of books (husband's frequent flier status allowed for extra baggage), and even read a few books while I was in London! Totally a success. :)   Thanks to everyone who helped out by giving me suggestions!  I appreciate it!

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Ah, that's excellent that you managed to smuggle some extra books out! Any pictures? And a book list of your prizes?

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